On November 31st it's always difficult for me to fall asleep. I'm excited.
I haven't had a chocolate or present advent calendar in years. But for years at this point, I have to force myself to go to bed and not wait until 5am for the first Advent of Code to unlock. Sometimes I even succeed.
Every December I do fifty coding puzzles that are different from anything I know.
What I Love About Advent of Code
These stories are cute and whimsical.
They're little stories about saving Christmas this year. Every day you unlock a small chapter that wraps around a puzzle that you can solve in any way you would like. People use different languages and tools, including Excel and literal sheets of paper.
However, the creator makes certain to not provide hints to a certain path to a solution.
I remember vividly that one year, I implemented a queue system using a stack. When I looked at other solutions from, what I assume, are more web development types, they were using asyncio elements. Either worked!
Translating these stories into a problem you can solve is a great skill.
How Advent of Code is Different
Many people will practice programming on other websites, so why wait for daily unlocks?
This is directly opposed to Hackerrank and Leetcode! There, you click on a problem that says "binary trees" where you know already how to solve a problem and only need to work within those parameters. This hones your specific skills but doesn't require problem comprehension.
That's why I love advent of code, in addition to the cuteness.